My five-year-old son is really into coding. He doesn’t know how to do anything yet, but he wants to learn. Currently he plays around with Swift Playgrounds a lot on his iPad (which is a little too old and slow to run it properly). He also orders his grandfather to program a collection of JavaScript games, utilities, and other doodads for him on a personal website. I’m going to start him on Scratch and Swift Playgrounds on the Mac. Because he is very interested in websites, I promised to introduce him to HTML and “Hello World!”-level JavaScript.

To get the ball rolling on this endeavor, I decided today that I will let him borrow (or use most of the time) my 15” 2013 retina MacBook Pro. It’s a little too big for him, screen-wise, but it’s the only machine I have. Tonight, I spent a half hour prepping it for him. Tomorrow, I plan to get NextDNS set up for web content filtering, and also to explore what other safeguards I can put on the machine to keep him out of trouble. He has a history, believe it or not, of setting up accounts on internet services and contacting the companies via web forms or email. I locked down his iPad, but he started to find ways around it today. I know I will have to keep a close watch of him.

I know he’s going to love using a real computer, not only for programming, but for Pages, Garage Band, and Photos as well. I hope that things go well.